President of the Parliament of Montenegro Aleksa Bečić, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro N.E. Oana Kristina Popa and Milan Radović from the Youth Initiative for Human Rights officially opened the Information and Documentation Center on War Crimes today. The Center was established as part of the “No impunity for the past” project implemented by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, and co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration.
The project is also implemented in cooperation with the Parliament of Montenegro. Mr. Bečić emphasized the importance of this Center, and stated that the collection of evidence, statements and other information on war crimes in Montenegro, which will be made available by the Parliament later, shows that the state is ready to be among the responsible socities. He also added that the opening of the Center is an incentive for reconciliation and cooperation, as values that should be nurtured in order to further improve relations in the former Yugoslavia.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Oana Kristina Popa, expressed satisfaction that the European Union is financing such a project, and that the opening of a documentary center on war crimes is an important moment in Montenegro’s political history, in terms of dealing with the war past and its healing. She stated that, like many other reconciliation initiatives, this one was launched by the civil sector, and she believes that the Center should be taken over by Parliament and other institutions for good process management, collection and archiving of documents.
“Although Montenegro continues to implement a war crimes prosecution strategy, responsibility for war crimes is not fully established. A proactive approach to investigating, prosecuting, trial and punishing war crimes in line with international standards is needed. It is crucial to ensure that victims of war crimes have equal access to justice, in line with European and international standards, and that compensation is in line with the country’s obligations, ”said Ambassador Popa.
Project coordinator Milan Radović pointed out that the goal of the project is to inform the public about war crimes during the 1990s through the work of the Center, but also to collect documentation and other material related to the mentioned crimes that will be available and useful, above all, for the state prosecutor’s office in opening new investigations and proceedings, and then for the entire public.
Mr. Radović concluded with the words: “Let this Center be a guarantee – for the victims to remember them, for future generations that crimes will never happen again”, and called on all citizens, colleagues from the NGO sector, researchers, journalists, students, pupils and others to visit the Center and get acquainted with the data and facts that are there.
The center is located at Studentska ulica 37 / a, working hours from 08:00 to 15:00, weekdays.
One of the main goals of the project “No impunity for the past” is to investigate and document war crimes that occurred during the 90’s in Montenegro. With its implementation, we want to improve the process of dealing with the past through the establishment of a Information and Documentation Center and seeking to initiate proceedings to determine responsibility for war crimes that occurred in Montenegro in the early 1990s.
The value of the project is 159,299.00 euros and it lasts from December 2, 2019 to August 2, 2021. The project is funded by the European Union, and the project partners are the NGO Documenta from Zagreb, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights from Serbia, the NGO Bukovica from Pljevlja, the Parliament of Montenegro and the Faculty of Law of the University of Montenegro.